Datasets – Supporting hurricane damage assessments

Datasets – Supporting hurricane damage assessments

  • As hurricanes formed in the Gulf Coast, ORNL activated a computing technique to quickly gather building structure data from Texas’ coastal counties. Credit: Mark Tuttle/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy
    As hurricanes formed in the Gulf Coast, ORNL activated a computing technique to quickly gather building structure data from Texas’ coastal counties. Credit: Mark Tuttle/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy (hi-res image)
  • ORNL’s novel computing method supports emergency response efforts by providing preliminary building structure data on the county level. This technique has been applied for hurricane-impacted areas of Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and other U.S. Caribbean te
    ORNL’s novel computing method supports emergency response efforts by providing preliminary building structure data on the county level. This technique has been applied for hurricane-impacted areas of Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and other U.S. Caribbean territories. Credit: Mark Tuttle/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy (hi-res image)
  • As hurricanes formed in the Gulf Coast, ORNL activated a computing technique to quickly gather building structure data from Texas’ coastal counties. Credit: Mark Tuttle/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy
  • ORNL’s novel computing method supports emergency response efforts by providing preliminary building structure data on the county level. This technique has been applied for hurricane-impacted areas of Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and other U.S. Caribbean te

Media Contact

Sara Shoemaker, Communications
shoemakerms@ornl.gov, 865.576.9219

November 2, 2017 – Geospatial scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a novel method to quickly gather building structure datasets that support emergency response teams assessing properties damaged by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. By coupling deep learning with high-performance computing, ORNL collected and extracted building outlines and roadways from high-resolution satellite and aerial images. As hurricanes formed in the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic Ocean, ORNL activated their technique. “During devastating weather events, it’s difficult and time consuming to assess damage manually,” said ORNL’s Mark Tuttle. “Our method supports emergency response efforts by providing preliminary building structure data—which can be categorized for residential, multi-family and commercial properties—on the county level, and this has been applied for hurricane-impacted areas of Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and other U.S. Caribbean territories.” During Hurricane Harvey, ORNL analyzed nearly 2,000 images covering nearly 26,000 square miles of building structures in Texas’ coastal counties in just 24 hours, a process that would typically take up to nine months.

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